Just a few days ago, Independence Day came and went, and did anyone notice? June 28 was the day the U.S. returned sovereignty to Iraq in 2004, and it should be a day of celebration, a day when Iraqis mark their equal status among nations, just as Americans did more than two centuries ago.
But even when, finally, the Iraqi people are truly able to steer their own course and run their country as they see fit, I doubt that June 28 will be celebrated as a true Independence Day in Iraq.
Would we be celebrating if our Declaration of Independence had been edited by King George III? What if Britain maintained troops and military bases inside our major cities? Would we mark the day this "independence" began with fireworks and parades?
Occupation and independence cannot coexist. Until our troops leave Iraq and we end this grim chapter in our history, Iraq will remain as it is today, four years after its supposed independence: a country wracked with violence. By continuing to occupy Iraq, we make a mockery of our own history, our own struggle for independence.
Sean P. Dougherty